Garrett Martin

"If you're frustrated with not being able to build the ideas in your head, immediately drop what you are doing and come to Starter School."

  • What Problem He's Solving: Making it easy for founders to manage their capitalization table.
  • First job: Hockey referee
  • One thing he can't live without: McDonald's breakfast
  • Garrett in three words: Motivated, disciplined, self-sufficient

Learn why Garrett chose Starter School over college.

Why are you at Starter School?

I'm at Starter School because college wasn't taking me where I wanted to go. I was a freshman last year, studying computer science. I was an athlete and did ROTC at school, but the culture around learning real skills wasn't there. I came to Starter School to get on an accelerated path to learning the skills to make it in the tech industry.

What's one thing that you have been surprised by at Starter School?

I've been surprised that we've come so close as a group of students. I came into it thinking everyone would be all business all the time, but the atmosphere feels more like a family.

Is there one experience that stands out for you at Starter School?

Aside from the metric ton of stuff we learn from class, the most standout experience for me has been really living on my own for the first time. It's a scary, but liberating feeling.

What was the first day of Starter School like?

I was pretty nervous on the first day because my expectations were so high, but after just a few hours, I knew that I had made the right choice coming here.

Were you intimidated to learn anything that ended up coming easy to you?

Programming didn't come easy to me, but it is a lot easier than it's made out to be. As long as you can think logically and do middle school algebra, you'll pick it up eventually.

What makes Starter School different than other classes/schools you've been to?

The focus is on building, not on grades. The skills we learn in class are immediately applied, and are in high demand.

What are you building right now?

I'm working on LivingQuarters with Chance. It's an app that makes it easy for roommates to track living expenses and bills. He came up with the idea at our first hackathon, and we've been working on it since.

Who or what inspires you and why?

The pace at which technology changes inspires me because there will always be more to learn.

What would you say to someone interested in joining Starter School?

If you're frustrated with not being able to build the ideas in your head, immediately drop what you are doing and come to Starter School.

What's something you've done in your life that you're most proud of?

I'm most proud of taking the risk of leaving college to come to Chicago for Starter School.



Tuition for Starter School is $12,000 per quarter, excluding housing, materials, and personal expenses. A refundable deposit of $3,000 will be required in order to confirm your acceptance. One week before the start of each quarter a payment of $12,000 must be made. For example, the Winter quarter begins on January 6, so a payment of $12,000 would be due no later than December 30.

Cost Breakdown
Fall quarter -$12,000
Winter quarter $12,000
Spring quarter $12,000
Total $24,000

Do you offer loans and scholarships?

Currenty we don't offer loans or financial aid. However, we are actively working with loan providers and the government to make Starter School more affordable. In the meantime, please reach out to us at so we can learn more about your situation.

How have other students financed their tuition?

Our students have creatively raised funds for Starter School in numberous ways. They've sourced online donations, secured company sponsorship, created friends and family loans, and even sold their cars. The students who have given up the most tend to get the most out of the program. They treat it like a serious, life-changing investment— which is exactly what it is.

A New Way to Pay For Starter School

We are excited to announce a partnership with Upstart, a platform that allows individuals to get financial investment to pursue their dream careers. This partnership allows current students and future Starter School students to raise funding for Starter School tuition.

Here are the requirements to qualify for Upstart:

  1. You must be a U.S. citizen, or permanent resident currently living in the US
  2. Be at least 18 years old;
  3. Have a valid e-mail account;
  4. Have a verifiable name, date of birth, and social security number
  5. Have graduated from a 4-year (bachelor's degree) accredited college in 1995 or later or be accepted by and soon to enroll in a 4-year accredited (bachelor's degree) college;
  6. Have an account at a U.S. financial institution with a routing transit number; and
  7. Meet our minimum credit requirements.